The Lakers had won three championships in a row and had done so in convincing fashion. The Lakers had an opportunity to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive title, something that has only been done by the Boston Celtics when they won 8 straight Larry O’Brien trophies.
In the opening round of the 2003 playoffs, the Lakers would take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The T-Wolves were the second seed in the Western Conference and had the home court advantage. The series was tied at two games a piece and the pivotal game five was at the Target Center. Kobe Bryant scored 16 of his 32 points in the third quarter and the Lakers would end up winning 120-90 to take a 3-2 series lead.
The Lakers were up by 10 at the end of the first half, but then Bryant took over the third and the game was out of reach by the time the fourth quarter began. Midway through the third, Bryant set the tone by going baseline on Kevin Garnett and taking off from one side of the key and finishing on the other with a one handed reverse dunk. Bryant used the rim to shield him from Garnett and Rasho Nesterovic, which allowed him to finish with the emphatic dunk. Kobe would give the Lakers a 73-55 lead and it was just too much for the Timberwolves to overcome.
The Lakers would end up winning the series 4-2, but would end up losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals.
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